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SVOD drives content spend to reach $220 billion in 2021

The study found that subscription OTT services increased investment in content by 20% in 2021, to nearly $50 billion. Compared with 2019, this represents a growth of over 50%, a factor of the success of the streaming market during lockdown, and that within this time frame, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ have expanded rapidly and together via their originals, contributed over $8 billion to content spend in 2021.

Yet despite the general recovery, Ampere found content spend from these groups still remains below 2019 levels, largely due to ongoing pressures on revenue (primarily TV advertising revenue)—a consequence of a mixture of viewing shifts to online video, and lingering economic effects influencing advertiser expenditure.

Netflix continues to dominate SVOD content investment, contributing 30% of total SVoD content spend and 6% of total global content investment in 2021. Netflix is the third largest investor in professional video content at a group level ($14 billion), behind Comcast and its subsidiaries ($22.7 billion), and Disney ($18.6 billion). Collectively, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ invested over $8 billion in original content in 2021.

Hannah Walsh, research manager at Ampere Analysis noted that Comcast and Disney invest heavily in sports rights, which —alongside their hefty investments in original content — contributed to their leading positions in the analysis. Sports rights made up of over a third of both Comcast and Disney’s spend in 2021. Looking towards the forthcoming year she said: “In 2022, we expect content investment to exceed $230 billion, primarily driven by subscription streaming services, as the battle in the original content arena intensifies – both in the US, but also in the global markets which are increasingly key for growth.” Rapid TV News

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